“We’re seeing a mild season now. It hasn’t gotten out of hand,” said Judy Papendorf, infection prevention manager for the two hospitals.
“All of our decisions whether to restrict or not restrict visitors are on a day-to-day basis as to what we are actually seeing,” Papendorf said. “We don’t want to pull the plug unless we have to.”
Between 15 and 20 patients with a range of flu symptoms are screened daily in the La Grange emergency room, and usually two patients are admitted with severe symptoms. The numbers are slightly higher in Hinsdale, which is a larger hospital serving a greater population, Papendorf said.
“We’re not seeing any type of epidemic at all. It’s business as usual,” she said. “February is usually the heightened month for the flu season, though last year it peaked much later in March.”
Adventist GlenOaks Hospital began restricting visitors Jan. 8, due to an increase there in the number of flu patients. Only two visitors at a time age 18 and older are allowed. Visitors with flu symptoms either are banned from seeing patients or required to wear masks under certain conditions.
Papendorf said visitors are urged to wash their hands frequently, cover their mouths during a cough and stay home if they are sick.